If you completed, or plan to complete a master’s degree in education, and you want to go further with your education, you have two choices. You can continue to obtain either a PhD or EdD. Both of these doctoral degrees focus on higher learning in the field of education. However, an EdD is more suitable for those who wish to apply what they learned right away.

What is a Doctorate of Education (EdD)?

An EdD is a terminal degree, meaning it is the highest degree awarded in the education field. It is similar to a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree, with one major difference. Whereas the goal of PhD in education is continued teaching and researching, students of an EdD work toward addressing and determining a practical solution to an issue within one school or school system. EdD recipients apply research in a heuristic environment throughout their careers on a regular basis.

A doctorate in education helps you build foundational education knowledge and skills that enable you to address issues at the organizational, leadership, and educational levels. You may also apply your knowledge and skills through real-world applications and experiences.

Job Outlook

Acquiring an EdD allows you to work in multiple leadership and administrative roles in the education field. Some career choices after you complete your EdD program include teacher trainer, nonprofit director, superintendent, dean, college professor, education researcher, director of human resources (in public or private sectors), and curriculum specialist. Some EdD programs offer specializations such as higher education, special education, and educational technology. So, you can choose the specific area in which you wish to work.


One of the many benefits of acquiring a doctorate in education is that many competitive career choices exist. For example, an individual can become a school principal with a simple master’s degree, but if he or she has obtained an EdD, he or she gets paid more. Other candidates for the job with lesser degrees have less of a chance against the person with the higher degree. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a school principal neared $94,390. A position higher on the chain of command, like a superintendent or college dean, offers even more. Someone who chooses to work as a training and development manager could earn an average of $117,690 per year.

While a PhD in education prepares you for long-term scholarship and research, an EdD sets you on the path toward advancement into hands-on administrative roles. The ability to apply your knowledge and skills and provide possible solutions to issues within the education system is fulfilling and rewarding. You use practical applications in everyday, real-world situations and know that you make a true a difference, not just in the school or education system as a whole, but in each and every learner’s life. An EdD degree is a great option for a hardworking and driven individual who desires leading and solving problems that arise in the realm of education.

Many people hear nothing but vague rumors of PhD’s, because they often exist more in the medical and professorial fields than any others. Knowing the difference between a PhD and an EdD, however, teaches you to choose which one is right for you, and the career path you wish to take. If you want to have a future in a long-term and rewarding leadership role, getting a doctorate in education can lead you there!


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